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9GB Walkman phone coming soon

But touchscreeen Walkman is no iPhone killer

Sony Ericsson is releasing six new phones, including a high-end Walkman-branded handset with around 9GB of internal Flash memory, according to a company spokeswoman.

The music-centric Walkman will more than double the internal memory of previous models and will feature a newly designed media player and large-touch display for easy navigating. But, unlike Apple's iPhone (see our iPhone review here), the new Walkman will include a keyboard.

"Our new Walkman mobile phone isn't designed as a response to the iPhone but as a further development of the Walkman," the Sony Ericsson spokeswoman said.

Sony Ericsson will also unveil the latest in its line of Cybershot camera phones, a 5-megapixel device.

Several new accessories will be introduced at the event in Berlin today, including a GPS (global positioning system) unit that can be connected to a mobile phone and new Bluetooth headsets.

What the Japanese-Swedish joint venture will not be announcing in Berlin is a new PlayStation Portable (PSP) mobile phone, the spokeswoman said.

The blogosphere was full of rumours of a new PSP mobile phone after Japanese employees of Sony Ericsson last month filed a patent application with the US Patent & Trademark Office for a mobile phone with video game features.

"The patent is registered; we register many patents," the spokeswoman said. "But we don't have a PSP mobile phone in the planning. I can't say that we won't see such a device in 10 years but there are no plans to build one at the present time."

The spokeswoman said that the company's current focus is on music, imaging and the web, but not on the PSP.

Which isn't to say that PSP owners won't be able to make calls soon.

Last month, BT announced its work on a software-based internet telephony package for the PSP. The system will allow PSP users to make voice and video calls across a Wi-Fi network. Later it will be extended to cover calls and messages to PCs, fixed-line phones and mobile phones.


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